The Miami Dolphins announced on Tuesday they had placed tenders on running back Salvon Ahmed and defensive back Elijah Campbell. Both players are exclusive rights free agents and the Dolphins now retain their rights for another season. The ERFA tender is a league minimum, one-year, non-guaranteed contract and, once the tender has been offered, the player cannot negotiate with any other team.
Players are considered “exclusive rights free agents” when they have an expiring contract, but have two- or fewer accrued seasons in the NFL. To achieve an accrued season, a player must be on the 53-man roster for six games during the year.
Ahmed was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers in 2020, but was waived before the season began. Miami claimed him off waivers, eventually moving him to the practice squad at the start of the season. He has spent time on and off the Dolphins’ practice squad over the last two years, appearing in 18 games with four starts, tallying 468 yards on 129 carries with three touchdowns, along with 23 receptions for 178 yards.
Campbell began his NFL career in 2018 as an undrafted free agent signed by the Cleveland Browns. He did not make it to the season, however, and ultimately spent 2019 with the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football and the DC Defenders in the XFL. He signed with the New York Jets as a part of their practice squad midway during the 2020 season, spending some time elevated to the 53-man roster before being waived at the start of the 2021 season. The Dolphins claimed him off waivers and he appeared in seven games, primarily on special teams, before toe injury landed him on injured reserve.
Ahmed and Campbell were the only two players who qualified as ERFAs this year for Miami. The team does have six players who are restricted free agents after reaching three years of NFL service, but not yet at the four years mark that would make them unrestricted free agents. The Dolphins could place tenders on these players, with three different levels of tenders, first-round tender, second-round tender, or the right of first refusal tender. Each tender includes a different level of compensation for the player. Restricted free agents are able to negotiate with other teams, but their original team has the right to match the contract, or the other team will be required to provide compensation equal to the tender level. Miami’s RFA eligible players are running back Patrick Laird, cornerback Nik Needham, safety Sheldrick Redwin, cornerback Jamal Perry, wide receiver Preston Williams, and linebacker Sam Eguavoen.